Bought a Starbucks giftcard from eBay and Starbucks closed my card

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  1. I was so shocked that I have had no clue how to proceed. Last year I bid and won a Starbucks giftcard from eBay. The gc was brand new and I was able to register and transfer the fund to my main card. Throughout the year, I have been getting giftcards from friends and family with various amounts ($5-$60) and transferring the balances to my main card. I have been using my card up till a couple of days ago without any problem. Last week, 4/1, I bid and won another Starbucks gc on eBay. I received it on 4/7, the correct amount was there but the gc was registered to someone else. I emailed the seller and he told me to purchase another gc using the gc I bought from him. So I went ahead and bought 3 electronic gc online, sent them to myself, registered them, and transferred the balances to my main card.

    This morning to my surprise, I saw a $0 balance on my card. I called Starbucks right away and talked to a representative. She told me they have deemed the three transfers fraudulent and insecure so they closed my card without any notification. I have lost entire balance on my main card, the one I transferred ($205), plus another $30.xx I had originally on there. I told her that the old balance had nothing to do with the gc I bought from eBay, so Starbucks should not take it away from me. She then dig into my entire history and told me I had to provide receipts from people who I got gc from throughout the years in order for me to recover the $30 old balance. At this point, I don't think I would be able to get all the receipts from people who gave me gc, so the old balance might be a lost cause.

    So the question is, what recourse do I have regarding the gc I got from eBay? I have sent a message to the seller who I bought the gc from and explained the situation, and am now waiting. I don't think I would get a response. Should I contact eBay or Paypal to recover my money spent on the gc? If so, who should I contact?

    Thanks for all your help.
  2. I think you bought a stolen card.

    Cards that are registered can be reported as lost or stolen and the balances replaced. Whether your seller stole the card or found a lost one, it sounds as though she didn't have a right to sell it because it wasn't hers.
  3. ^That actually makes absolute sense and you are right. Not only did I hear back from the seller, I also got an automatic refund and a request for cancel transaction.

    All of this only costed me some $30 and my gold card.
  4. I wonder if SB will refund your $30 if you show them that you were refunded for the last gift card. Maybe explain to them that you had no idea it was a fraudulent transaction, it can't hurt.
  5. JMHO, but I would decline their request to cancel the transaction. Whatever they're doing, it's fishy and they seem to know it since they didn't even fight it.

  6. Good!

  7. This!
  8. Can you post the ID of this seller so we can avoid them?
  9. It was a good idea; however I called back to speak with a manager again telling them the outcome of the eBay transaction, and they simply would not budge :nogood: I think those three transfers associated with the eBay gc really raised some red flag. They insisted that I would need to fax them the receipts from every single gc I received in order to get my $30 back.

    I think even though it does not state in their program terms and conditions that buying Starbucks gc from third parties is prohibited, it does not mean they don't take actions against activities that seem suspicious to them. They "reserve the right to terminate one's account and/or one's participation in My Starbucks Rewards if Starbucks determines in its sole discretion that someone has violated these Terms of Use, or that the use of the account is unauthorized, fraudulent or otherwise unlawful. Lesson learned: Avoid buying Starbucks gc through a third party websites, no matter how discounted they are. They may be legit but then again, they may not be.

    The manager did tell me that a brand new gold card has been issued to me and that my status of the program, numbers of stars/rewards accumulated thus far remain unchanged. So I guess I should be glad it's only $30 and not whole lot more that I have lost.

    I did decline the cancel transaction request, now I'm just contemplating on what feedback I should leave.

    Seller ID is linettshop
  10. #10 Apr 11, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
    Just so you know that does not just apply to Starbucks.
    Gift Card fraud is one of the fastest spreading in US and beyond. Many entities closely monitor the use and distribution of their gift cards. For example, there are thieves that shoplift items and then bring it to the store and return it for a "credit" which is normally given in a gift card form.
    There are also many money laundering schemes involving gift cards.
    You also were lucky that the seller refunded, because ebay buyer protection does not cover gift card purchases, so if you would have opened the ebay dispute, you would have lost.
  11. IMO, this seller deserves a neg.

    I appreciate that you posted the ID because her history is very telling!!

    In her completed listings, there are 8 listings for Starbucks cards, 7 of which have sold.

    linettshop sold 3 gift cards each with a $200 balance and 4 gift cards, each with a $205 balance. Add to this the fact that she has private auctions and I see HUGE red flags. I think Starbucks did the right thing is blocking these cards.

    ETA: Did you look at the seller's most recent feedback? Another buyer got scammed and left a neutral:

    When I rec'd the gift card I was told the card had been "closed" he then refund ea***d ( 172[​IMG]) Apr-10-14 12:32
  12. I have no doubt this is the case. High-end dept stores like NM or Saks won't even let you return anything without any proof of purchase or record. Places like Macys, Nordstrom, Dillards put barcode stickers on their tags that are required for returns. I think stores are definitely cracking down illegit or suspicious activities involving giftcards.

    Thanks for this, I was actually unaware of that. I would definitely not buy anymore giftcards on eBay.
  13. I did see the most recent feedback, and if I have seen it sooner, I would not have bid. I did leave a neutral feedback since I got the full refund from the seller. You're right, Starbucks closing all those cards is not unwarranted. I hope buyers would catch up and stop bidding on their giftcards. I wonder if eBay can anything about it :thinking:

    Thanks for all of your help!